THAN YOU THINK:
BUILDING AND MAINTAINING A WEB PRESENCE
Vice President of Creative Services
Nautilus Communications, Inc.
The year is
2003 and if you don’t have a Web site yet, you are probably
flogging yourself for being “so 20th century” when we’re
now three years into the new millennium. Or maybe you have a cookie-cutter
“online brochure” of a Web site that desperately needs
updating. Either way, you’re not alone. Everyone has been
at this point — you just need to get past it before your competition
time to invest in your online business image! Your customers, members
or media contacts are all online in 2003, and it’s in your
best interest to be there waiting for them. Before you start to
feel overwhelmed, consider these tips for painless Web development:
create extra work. One of the greatest misconceptions
about a Web site is “all that writing” you’ll
have to do for it. But Web writing should be short and pithy.
And chances are good that you already have publications, announcements,
releases, reports, flyers, etc. that you have written. Design
your site so that you can use some of the communications tools
that you already have.
it fresh. In addition to providing new information on
the site, you should consider changing or adding new features
every few months. The best way to do this is to make a wish list
and turn it into a multi-phase marketing outreach plan —
newsletter subscription, Q&A area, member directory, interviews,
polls, etc. Make each new feature’s rollout an opportunity
to touch base with your visitors, reminding them of your presence
and assessing their needs.
is everything. Web writing is still the neglected child
in the communications family of many organizations — poorly
written, not proofread, or out-of-date. Consider keeping your
site small until you are sure that you can keep up with proofing
and updating. It’s amazing how your image takes a nosedive
when a visitor views an error-packed page on your site. Another
strategy is to limit the number of frequently updated pages so
you can have a larger site, but with fewer areas that need attention.
your corporate image. Don’t sacrifice your identity
for a hip, technology-laden site. Make sure that the design is
faithful to your corporate image, and that any interactive “toys”
further your goals instead of taking attention away from them.
Make sure that
the site you are building will be unique to your business, useful
to your intended audience, and, above all, a successful communications
tool. The best way to maximize your efforts, of course, is to hire
some professional help. When choosing between a tech consultant
and a communications consultant, try to determine which will help
you achieve your goals. While a tech-focused firm might lean towards
cutting-edge interactivity, a communications firm will concentrate
on identifying your users’ needs and delivering your messages.
into action now and make your Web site a high-impact communications
tool that helps you meet your organizational objectives. You’ll
be glad you did!
Communications, we use our customized NCx3 Creative Process™
for Web site development, a three-step process of needs assessment,
site and content planning, and creative design. We offer several
different development Web packages for sites of differing sizes
and complexity, and we are a certified reseller of Interland, one
of the top-rated Web hosting companies. Contact
us today for a recommendation on how to launch or revamp your
The fine print:
This article is Copyright 2003 by Nautilus Communications, Inc.
It may be reproduced with attribution and a link to our Web site
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